W.Va. Legislature passes pay raise for lawmakers

By Scott Finn

The West Virginia Senate passed a $5,000 pay raise for lawmakers Friday. It would take effect next year. The bill now goes to Governor Manchin, who says he’ll sign it into law.   

Pay for state legislators will increase from $15,000 to $20,000 a year. They’ll also receive more money for expenses.

On the floor today, most Senators argued that the pay raise was long overdue. Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Kessler says the hardest part is leaving your family behind, even when your ten-year-old son is begging you to stay.  Only one Senator, Vic Sprouse of Kanawha County, spoke against the pay raise.   

The pay raise passed, 20 to 13. Voting against the pay raise were Senators Barnes, Bailey, Boley, Caruth, Deem, Facemyer, Foster, Guills, Hall, Plymale, Foster, Sprouse, Sypolt, and Unger.   

Several Senators switched sides since they voted on a similar pay raise last year. Bailey, Caruth, Facemyer and Guills voted for the pay raise last year, but voted against it this year.  Senators Jenkins, Prezioso, and Stollings voted against the pay raise last year but for it this year. 

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